Wednesday, 19 June 2013

Different Types of Roofing Materials


The roof of a building is as important as the rest of the structure. Choosing the roofing material goes beyond the beauty of the finished house; builders consider a number of factors in determining the kind of roofing materials to use. Some of these considerations include culture, climatic conditions, finance, and the design of the building.

Metals wrought into thin sheets can be used for roofing. Some come in plain sheets and others in corrugated sheets. Steel is used in roofing when coated with an alloy of zinc and aluminium. Galvanised steel is the most popular in developing regions.

The problem with untreated iron roofs is that they are bound to rust, which shortens their lifespan. For this reason, large industries use steel and copper for roofing because of their durability. It is estimated that copper roofs last for over a century. They are also easy for mechanical manipulation, suitable for sharp thermal variations, resistant to rust and require little or no maintenance at all. Metallic roofs are commonly used within the tropics for domestic purposes.

Thatched houses use plant materials that are dried and fostered into bundles which are then arranged in layers across the roof top. In Africa, Asia and the Caribbean, thatching is done using tall grass and papyrus reeds. In parts of America and Europe, thatching is done using Rye, sea grass and wheat straw. It should be noted that thatching has nothing to do with social class, but rather the availability of material and the design of the house. Thatched roofs need continuous maintenance.

The other type of roofing material is tiles. Tiles can last over a century if well designed and manufactured. Roofing tiles come in different shapes, sizes and colours. They form a much stronger roof than metal sheets and thatching. They require maintenance, and re-alignment of the tiles and repainting should be done once in ten years.

Some buildings are roofed using concrete slabs. This is common in storied buildings. You can even find a roof top garden or restaurant as the roof is as sturdy as the flooring.

There are roofs tailored for special structures and purposes, such as the roofing of a nuclear plant and other industrial applications. Synthetic tiles made from carbon compounds are common for such roofs. Synthetic roofs are actually fast becoming popular for commercial use. Using a combination of both natural and artificial materials is growing into a trend in a bid to reinforce roofs, provide variety and enhance aesthetics.

Sunday, 9 June 2013

Factors to Consider While Building Your Dream House


A dream house becomes a reality for very few. This is partly because most people hardly ever build a robust image of their dream house. Naturally, they admire every great house they see or enter. This problem stems from character and personal principles.

The other thing that prevents most people from building their dream house is resources. The realities for many people are financial constraints, making it very difficult to gather all the requirements then build the house. Fortunately, there is a way you can conceptualize your dream house and make it a reality, and not declare bankruptcy.

• Conceive the dream house in the mind first, then believe in it and make it one of your cardinal objectives. Without this, one is bound to keep shifting mind on what they think to be the house they desire.

• Sketch the house on a paper and if it is a borrowed concept, get the pictures of the house and work at perfecting it. You can build a model to help capture the 2D paper drawing. Modelled house pins give the most vivid house design.

• You may contract professional architects to help you capture the mental image of the house. Otherwise, you can learn to do this by use of popular software such as architectural AutoCAD, Google Sketch Up and premium Adobe suite.

• Get professional guidance on costs by consulting established firms and individual experts in real estate and property industry. Consult as wide as possible, noting down the details of the costs and requirements.

• Collect resources through practical and reasonable means. You can take a mortgage, save money or buy the requirements bit by bit. Ideally, consult a property financing firm on finances and payment logistics.

• Once all the resources are available, engage builders and contractors. Consider their repute, assess their past projects and check their cost estimates. Location, access, possible future expansion of the compound or need for modification must be put into perspective. There are various styles of dream houses: contemporary house plans, Victorian house plans, Mediterranean House plans, Neoclassical House plans, and the new American House plan. Some houses are built for special personal assignments that you may want to carry out in future. You may want to include a garden, paved drive-way, manicured lawn and many other fancy features. Therefore, you must include everything in the house plan right from the start.

Sunday, 2 June 2013

Do You Repair or Renovate? Make the Right Decision

In order to decide what a space requires by way of repairs or renovations, it is important to understand what each of the processes entail.

Repairs are pretty straight forward. They entail a rejoining of parts that are broken, leaking, lose or faulty. Often, nothing new is added in the process of repairing. Sometimes, depending on the nature of the repair, a few new parts may be required. However, the original structure or face of a space remains the same. An example would be the replacement of cracked or broken tiles or windows. All that is necessary is obtaining replacement items of the same design for the area.

Renovation, sometimes known as remodelling, is literally building a space all over again. Renovations often entail the removal of entire parts or sections of the structure and reconstructing them in a new way. For example, a kitchen remodelling job could entail the removal of all storage cabinets from one side of the kitchen and relocating them to another.

When considering whether to renovate or repair, the major question to ask is the purpose which the repair or renovation serves; if it is to repair damage or simply improve the appearance of a space. Renovation can create more space in a room, decrease the space, add to it or rearrange the floor plan entirely. The essential thing with renovations is to ensure that the structural pillars that support the building are not tampered with.

The other element to look at when considering repairs or renovations is the cost. Calculate the cost of renovation not just monetarily, but in terms of time and effort. Repairs tend to be simple unless the damage affects the structure. They also take a short amount of time. What's more, the parts that required the repair can be put back to use in a matter of hours.

Renovations, on the other hand, will often cost much more because of the complexities in recreating a structure’s appearance. They will cost more in financial terms and they will cost even more in the time they will take to complete. There is an interior designer to be paid, a construction crew that needs its money, new materials to be purchased, and so on.

Ultimately, it is advisable to check with professionals when it comes to repairs or renovations. Seek advice from them and have them do the job for you, unless of course you have the necessary qualifications in building engineering and construction or somehow know how to do it yourself.